Friday, December 5, 2014

Reading the Philosophers

I had an interesting conversation with a friend at a Faculty/Staff dinner. WE were talking about reading and I mentioned that I did not take a philosophy course in completing three academic degrees,. My friend was completely shocked. She knew I read philosophers regularly. I probably read philosophical books more than any other kind of books. How did this happen?

I guess we can blame it on C. S. Lewis and some authors. I began reading Lewis in college. I fell in love with his work. I read many of his works several times. Then I read the secondary literature on his work. This is when I stumbled on the work of Peter Kreeft. I began not to read only what he wrote about Lewis but all his works. I read certain works of Kreeft repeatedly. Kreeft led me to atleast three other authors: Thomas Aquinas, James V. Schall, and Josef Pieper.

My first big introduction to Aquinas came by reading Kreeft's Summa of the Summa. I have read this book multiple times. I have also read Pegis's and other anthologies of Aquinas's writings. Reading Aquinas changed my life.

I think of Father Schall as my teacher. He is now over ninety and recently retired. I never tire of re-reading his works. The first book I read by Schall was Another Sort of Learning. Reading Schall has also changed my life. I can never repay the debt I owe to him.

Two other author that have influenced by thinking are Josep Pieper and Mortimer Adler. I have read their works repeatedly. I find myself having similar interests as Mortimer Adler. He has taught me to become a better reader. All these authors have taught me the importance of the life of the mind. AS Father Schall says there are rich pleasures that go with the life of the mind.

These are some of the authors that called me out to pursue philosophy, or the love of wisdom. I never tire of reading the great philosophers and thinking about the truth of things.

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